My mother’s sister had a terrifyingly good memory. Who will now recall our childhood sweethearts – or her mother’s lover?

The loss of an aunt isn’t one of the big deaths. I told myself that last week. My cousin had emailed with news that her mother, my aunt, had died unexpectedly in the week. She was my mother’s younger sister and lived far away in suburban Johannesburg. I hadn’t spoken to her since November, when I’d called on my birthday. Nothing structural in my life had changed.

Related: We need to talk about death: I was not prepared for how lonely grief would be | Vanessa Billy

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Read More My aunt has died – and with her goes a treasure trove of family memories | Emma Brockes

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